Wilfred Owen Essay

998 words 4 pages
Wilfred Owen’s poetry effectively conveys his perspectives on human conflict through his experiences during The Great War. Poems such as ‘Futility’ and ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ portray these perceptions through the use of poetic techniques, emphasising such conflicts involving himself, other people and nature. These themes are examined in extreme detail, attempting to shape meaning in relation to Owen’s first-hand encounters whilst fighting on the battlefield.

Wilfred Owen experiences many inner conflicts during his time in the war. The harsh notions of war constantly challenge his personal morals and beliefs. ‘Futility’ explores Owen’s emotions involving the pointlessness of human sacrifice. In the poem, Owen and his comrades lay a dying
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These harsh words have been placed in the poem so that readers back in suburban England can understand and relate to the soldiers’ living conditions and circumstances endured throughout the war. As the poem continues, it describes the alterations of the young soldiers – ‘Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots / But limped on, blood-shod…’. The alliteration in ‘Men marched asleep’ signifies the control the war has over the young soldiers. It is as if the war has brainwashed them as they continue to march, even while they sleep. This conveys Owen’s changed perspectives on human conflict, as he shows no remorse to the suffering soldiers.

Human conflict was a major contributing factor to World War I. Owen demonstrates this human conflict throughout ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’. ‘Gas! Gas! Quick, Boys! – an ecstasy of fumbling, / fitting the clumsy helmets just in time’. The repetition, oxymoron and an intense tone in this segment are used to emphasise the frenzied gas attacks experienced by Owen and his comrades. As it is the start of the third stanza, it sets the tempo for what is to come. The reader instantly feels the intensity and surprise of the situation and with it comes the unexpectedness of human conflict. As the stanza continues, the pace slowly decreases as Owen conveys his perspectives on the end result of human conflict – ‘Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light, / as under a green sea, I saw him


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